Monthly Archives: October 2011

iPad Use…Too Much Screen Time for Kids?

I came across this article about Kindergartners in Maine getting ipads. As a kindergarten teacher, I obviously found it interesting. While I am ANXIOUSLY awaiting the ipads for our classroom, I was still intrigued by a comment in the article. The potential concern is: how will too much screen time affect our kids? Now, on one hand I know that we will use the ipads often, but certainly not all day, so will it really make a difference? On the other hand, ipads are brand new and we really don’t know how these kids will be in 10 years! Interesting!

http://www.necn.com/09/12/11/Kindergarteners-get-iPads-for-school/landing_scitech.html?blockID=563064

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Heritage Hall Reframed

I’m so intrigued by the book I chose, yes a hard copy.  In Truth, Beauty, and Goodness: Reframed, Howard Gardner hopes to show how we can maintain traditional virtues of truth, beauty, and goodness in the not-so-traditional environment of today.  He encourages us to continually confront and reflect on new examples of truth, beauty, and goodness and seek to align them with long-standing values.

I felt this was appropriate in a few ways.  Right now I am mostly thinking about how well this goes with our goal of obtaining to ways of teaching and learning without losing the values of traditional education, which has worked for many years.  It is all about adjusting our attitude and continue to do what teachers have always done…be life-long learners!

I’m so excited to try and fail new things…just as quickly as I get tired of my furniture, I get tired of the same ‘ol, same ‘ol in the classroom.  It’s all in the best interest of the kids and let’s not forget, for us as well!  I am a young teacher, so I started my career with a Smartboard, so I am not just necessarily talking about integrating technology, but the best practices of 21st Century fluencies.  I just hope that all the teachers who have been educating for so long will maintain a positive, open attitude about the potential with moving into the 21st century!  Great things are ahead!

Eye patterns in reading websites vs. books

I was emailed an interesting article today about a study done that tracks the eye movements in people reading websites based on age. They found that the younger generations who have grown up with the internet tend to read in a F shaped pattern, largely ignoring material in the bottom right corner and right side, whereas we “older” generation folks who grew up reading books still read in a Z shaped pattern scanning left to right like we would in a book. This got me thinking about my own students and the things they seem to miss in the novels we study in English class. I often assume they miss things because they being lazy or not reading carefully enough (both of which could still be true), but what if they are also missing things because of the way their eyes are being trained to move across a page (digital and, by association, paper pages)? I’d have to still do more investigating on the matter, but it got me thinking about the handouts I give in class whether they are being designed to best accommodate the digital generation. Any thoughts anyone?

Book Review: Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative (Ken Robinson)

I’ve ordered a hard copy – I already view screens for too many hours a day and refuse to do any serious reading on one! I picked the book because I was super impressed with Ken’s TED talk on education (view below). From the book reviews it sounds like his recently updated book was the basis for his TED talk on education (past, present, future), creativity & globalization. Sometimes I feel like phrases like “21st century learning” sound good but are a little short on substance. It was obvious from his TED talk though Ken has a meaningful message for educators. I’m excited to read what he has to say!

This is also the first time I’ve blogged before! I’m not sure exactly what I’m “supposed” to say. Hopefully my errant thoughts will do!

Heritage Hall Launches “Evolution 21!”

“Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.” [Keanu Reeves as Ted Theodore Logan in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure]

I wouldn’t say strange things are afoot at Heritage Hall, but they certainly are new and exciting. A group of Charger educators has been tasked with preserving the best elements of our traditional education while exploring new and innovative ways to prepare the students of the 21st century. This blog will serve to chart our course as we blaze new trails to the future of learning.

To further quote the 80’s movie classic, “Greetings, my excellent friends,” and welcome to the official Blog of the e21 Team at Heritage Hall.